The name Luke means "light-giving." It's a shortened version of the Latin name Lucas, which is derived from the Greek name Loukas. One famous Luke is Luke the Evangelist – a first-century Greek physician and early Christian who is said to have written the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles in the Bible. In the Catholic Church, Luke is the patron saint of artists and doctors.
Luke is a well-known, classic name that also feels cool and a bit edgy, which gives it a more modern feel. The enduring popularity of the Star Wars films, featuring hero Luke Skywalker, has no doubt given this name a boost and contributed to its "cool guy" persona. (The movie Cool Hand Luke starring Paul Newman probably helped, too!)
Luke can be a nickname for Lucas, Lucian, Luca, Lucius, or Luther, but it's also a standalone name in its own right. It doesn't have many different spelling variations, though you may occasionally see it spelled as Luc, which is the predominant spelling in France.
Luke is primarily used as a boy's name, but there is a gender-neutral version – Luca or Luka is used for boys and girls depending on the country. And there are many feminine names with the same roots as Luke, including Lucia, Lucinda, Luisa, and Lucy.
Luke is a well-known name around the world, and it's even more popular in Ireland and the United Kingdom than in the United States. It does well in the U.S., too: Luke has been in the top 200 names for boys on the Social Security Administration (SSA) list since the late '70s, when the original Star Wars films were released.
Luke's rich history and beautiful meaning have made it a popular choice among parents around the world. Given its short-and-sweet appeal, you can expect Luke to continue appearing near the top of baby name lists for years to come.
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